Footloose and Freelance Free

Freelance jobs are quickly being embraced as long-term employment remains at historic highs, especially by the millennials.  There is no doubt that the millennials’ older peers are not completely on board with this idea of becoming free agents. The freelancing trend is simply a reflection of what is happening in the business world. The twenty year olds are independent and are designing careers outside of the Fortune 500 companies. According to a recent survey of more than 3,000 independent professionals, a good majority of them identified themselves as millennials-those born from 1981 onward. They are not afraid to mention that freelancing has become a primary source of income for them. The study also found 26 percent of the millennials surveyed have full-time jobs-in addition to freelance gigs. These workers want to supplement their income or are engineering a career shift, possibly to a different sector. Generation X, those born between 1965 and 1980 have jumped on board slowly and so have a small percentage of the Baby Boomers. Among all the freelancers surveyed, 57 percent said their income rose in 2012. In addition, 19 percent said they more than doubled their freelance income during the past year.

Freelancers exist in every career field. Most hold more than one job at a time, including publishing, online marketing, television production, consulting, child care, acting, fitness instruction, administrative assistance, teaching, nonprofit management, and others.  Statistics reveal that around 36% of the freelancers use this as their sole income, while around 42% use it in conjunction with a full or part time job. Among freelancers, most will tell you that they desire to telecommute most of the time rather than fight traffic and work in an office environment. Some reportedly like the idea of spending some time in an office, however.

Freelancers report that they find clients and gigs through online job listings, personal connections and networking, social media, and by targeting specific companies. The vast majority say that having a digital profile or online resume is vital.  Freelancers claim that their primary motivation to freelance is to be able to work independently and have control over their schedule. Freelancing also allows them to have more choice on what projects they work on.

Even though you are your own boss, you still have to be disciplined, professional and know your limitations. These are things best learned on the job. Freelancers can learn these skills while still bringing in an income.

But finally, there is the happiness factor.  Freelancers claim to be very happily employed.
Source: “Freelance, Part-Time Jobs: A Viable Option or Last Resort?” AOL Jobs. Web. 17 Jan. 2013.


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